We spent the last couple of days out and about in Canberra. Because Uluru was a little too far away for this trip, we did the next best thing…we visited the Red Centre exhibit at the Australian National Botanical Gardens.
We were all excited to touch red sand imported from Red Center.
Sadly, we later learned that this sand was imported from Victoria, not Red Center. Cheaters!
Since we had two 10-year-olds in tow, we had to visit Questacon, the Australian National Science Museum.
The only thing that could drag us away from the science museum was a trip to a local climbing gym where C could get in a quick workout!
I had a bit of an adventure the next day while trying to buy groceries for our trip to Thredbo. Though we brought a chipped credit card with a pin, for some reason the Australian banking system requires us to sign instead of using the pin. This has been a little confusing for some cashiers because all Australian cards require a pin. In the two weeks we’d been charging our way around New South Wales, we hadn’t had any problems. Until we encountered the Cashier of Doom (hereafter known as CoD) at the local, decidedly-off-the-tourist-track IGA.
After bagging $250 of groceries and successfully charging my card, the usual receipt printed requiring my signature. She looked perplexed, but I explained that my card requires a signature (usually enough of an explanation). She grumpily told me that Australia didn’t allow signatures anymore and she couldn’t accept the signature. I repeated my explanation, and provided a little elaboration. I was faced with CoD’s prickly rejection of said explanation. We had a bit more tete-a-tete, and I finally offered to pay cash. But when I went out to the cash machine, it was out of order! Ack! CoD suggested that I drive to the next town over to get cash, never mind the ice melting in the cart. And remember, my card has already been charged…CoD just won’t let me sign the receipt. I ask where the next town is, and she proceeds to rattle off directions at warp speed. Did she miss the part where I told her I’m visiting from the US (and my American accent)? Obviously I didn’t know the landmarks she’d referenced. At this point, I lose my tenuous grip on sanity and burst into tears. This (and my continued babbling about the signature being accepted EVERY other time we used it), finally melted her icy demeanor and she allowed me to sign the receipt. But I she had to check my ID and take my phone number, just in case.
Next time, I’ll bring cash.